Obituary for Priscilla Mills Abbitt

Priscilla Mills Abbitt, of Richmond, Va., crossed over peacefully at home on December 7, 2021. The family gives deep thanks for the life of this kind and selfless individual, born at the family home, Pine Cone Lodge on Weymouth Road, Southern Pines, North Carolina, on September 30, 1944, to the late Hon. Eutice Haywood Mills and Virginia Butner Mills.

She will always be cherished by her lucky husband, Bill; and her children and their families, Beverley Osborne and husband, Paul, of Islamorada Key, Florida, Paige Schoenauer and husband, Pete, of St. Simons Island, Georgia and Will Abbitt of Richmond, Virginia. She is also survived by her grandchildren, Ethan Osborne, 20, Ansley Osborne, 15, Parker Schoenauer, 17 and Payton Schoenauer, 15.

In addition, she is survived by three sisters, Marilyn Bridgeman of Southern Pines, North Carolina, Sally Thornton of Pinehurst, North Carolina and Maggie Mills of Fuquay-Varina, North Carolina; and two brothers, Johnny Mills of Pinebluff and Arthur Mills of Raleigh, North Carolina. Two brothers, Matthew and Jeff, predeceased her.

Priscilla’s greatest joy in life was doing for others, especially her husband and children. Other loves and interests were her church work, garden designs, her Tuckahoe Woman’s Club, flower arranging and loving and decorating their old Franklin Farm house, which they had moved and restored. She collected antiques and Persian carpets, which complimented her décor as well. A natural, she always loved swimming and diving at KRA, or wherever she may be, and enjoyed water skiing and snorkeling. She loved summers with family at Ware Neck on the North River. This energetic girl was also a perfect cook, baker, seamstress and hostess who opened her home for family and other gatherings with amazing menus and décor.

For 25 years, she was a well-known and beloved pre-school teacher at St. Stephen’s Kindergarten, which she looked forward to each day. Students and parents were thrilled to see “Cilla,” and vice versa, when they ran into one another at Ukrop’s.

Priscilla developed one of the more rare and horrific neurological diseases, PSP. A woman of faith and courage, she never, even once, questioned why me or woe is me. She continued to carry on activities as long as she could, and supported her children and grandchildren as they excelled in life.

Priscilla’s Celebration of Life service will be 2 p.m. Wednesday, December 15, at St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church, 1101 Forest Avenue (corner of Patterson Avenue), Richmond, Virginia 23229. Interment will be private in Hollywood Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to Cure PSP, 1216 Broadway, New York, N.Y. 10001. Also consider donating to St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church or the Virginia Home. Arrangements are by Bennett Funeral Home.

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